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Articles by Diana Beechener

Pups pose and plunge for the cause at family-friendly festival

Mindy Nelson admires the spirit of the thousands of charity-minded fundraisers who cast their warm bodies into the frigid waters of the Bay for Special Olympics every January.
    “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if dogs could do that?” says Nelson, fundraising and event coordinator for Anne Arundel County’s own Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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An old couple learns new tricks in this ­surprising comedy

After 30-odd years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones: Men in Black 3) have a routine: Kay suffers in silence as she does housework, longing for grand romantic gestures. Arnold ignores her. They sleep in different rooms and barely touch, talk or acknowledge each other in front of their grown children.
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Erase this unnecessary remake from your mind

In the near future, the world has become almost uninhabitable. The only areas with breathable air are The United Federation of Britain and The Colony (Australia). The rich one percent live in the UFB and force The Colony to occupy slums and work grueling hours in factories.
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Worth the trip to see a brand new way to bring peace in the Middle East

War is destroying a small town in Lebanon. The bridge connecting it to the outside world is a bombed-out disaster, navigable only by scooter. Minefields blow up local livestock and occasionally injure roaming children. Women make frequent pilgrimages to the cemetery to mourn those lost to war. A single television brings the modern world to them in static-filled snippets.
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The bane of this movie is the lead villain

Eight years after the Joker held Gotham City in his grip of terror, the rich have gotten richer, the poor are in Dickensian straits and the city is at a stalemate. With the Harvey Dent Act, the city has reduced crime by stuffing the jails. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale: The Flowers of War) is now a retired recluse who pines for lost love and hopes to heal a mind and body battered by his Batman stint.
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A charming fairytale about a little girl who lives in the bathtub

On the other side of the Delta levees is a shantytown called The Bathtub. It’s so cut off from the outside world that six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) envisions her community as a wonderland. Life is simple, clothes are dirty and magic is everywhere.
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The googly-eyed creations of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s Avenue Q offer a lesson on what happens when you don’t ­fulfill your dreams

“If you brought your kids to this, you’re [expletive] parents!”
    So begins Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s latest production, which features puppets, songs and decidedly adult situations. It’s a show so crude, rude and politically incorrect the only thing you can do is laugh.
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Two drug dealers find out the Mexican cartel means business in this tale of sex, blood and marijuana

 

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Teddy bears can be pigs

Young John Bennet (Bretton Manley) didn’t have many friends, so for Christmas his parents bought him a stuffed bear named Ted (Seth MacFarlane: Family Guy). Thanks to the magic of the season and the power of a child’s wish, Ted became real.
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Never accept a tart from an angry teenager

Being a lady in ancient societies was a real drag. You had to truss yourself up in uncomfortable dresses, follow the rules of court and be prim even as the men around you acted like imbeciles. If you were really good at following the rules, your grand reward was to be married off to some drooling noble who made up in breeding what he lacked in intelligence and sensitivity.
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